ERGO denies connection to activists who damaged Roma wall

A SMALL group of activists who tore down part of a wall in Košice built to separate the Roma living in the Luník IX community from the rest of the neighbourhood are not connected to the ERGO Network or its Czech member organisation Konexe and its “Wall Free Europe” campaign.

A SMALL group of activists who tore down part of a wall in Košice built to separate the Roma living in the Luník IX community from the rest of the neighbourhood are not connected to the ERGO Network or its Czech member organisation Konexe and its “Wall Free Europe” campaign.

“The ERGO Network and its Czech member organisation Konexe … do not condone the nightly actions of the activists,” the statement of European Roma Grassroots Organisations (ERGO) Network reads. “They are not connected to the ERGO Network nor to Konexe, and acted on their own accord.”

The activists have refused to reveal their identities, claiming that they are a “mere group of enthusiasts who dream about a world where Roma and non-Roma can live in peace”. They said that they left the country right after damaging the wall.

“It was illegally constructed without a building permit and we did [a] good [thing] for the local community by destroying it,” one of the activists from Switzerland told the Sme daily on September 16.

ERGO expressed regret that the municipality did not use the incident as an opportunity to initiate a dialogue with both Roma and non-Roma communities about the existence of the wall.

“Instead, municipality workers repaired the wall the next day,” an ERGO press release reads. “This sadly highlights that many walls, both physical and mental, are still standing in Košice as also elsewhere.”
(Source: ERGO press release, Sme)

Compiled by Roman Cuprik from press reports
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